7.9/10
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274 user 82 critic

My Fair Lady (1964)

A misogynistic and snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (from a play by) (as Bernard Shaw) | 1 more credit »
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2,273 ( 91)

On TV

Airs Fri. Nov. 24, 5:00 PM on TCM

ON DISC
Won 8 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Isobel Elsom ...
John Holland ...
Butler
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Storyline

Pompous phonetics professor Henry Higgins is so sure of his abilities that he takes it upon himself to transform a Cockney working-class girl into someone who can pass for a cultured member of high society. His subject turns out to be the lovely Eliza Doolittle, who agrees to speech lessons to improve her job prospects. Higgins and Eliza clash, then form an unlikely bond -- one that is threatened by an aristocratic suitor. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The loverliest motion picture of them all! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi bella dama  »

Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$72,000,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Musical theater writers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II had attempted to adapt George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" as a musical long before Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, but had abandoned the project as unadaptable. Rodgers and Hammerstein felt that Shaw's style of writing intellectual dialog and the emotionless character of Henry Higgins did not lend themselves to a musical. Lerner and Lowe overcame these problems by leaving Shaw's dialogue largely intact, and working under the notion that Higgins must be played by a great actor, not a great singer. Thus, they wrote the role especially for Rex Harrison, and adopted the idea that Higgins should not sing outright, but talk on pitch, less an expression of emotions than ideas. See more »

Goofs

In the Royal Ascot scene, the horses race in the wrong direction.

Ascot is a right-handed track where the horses race clockwise and the grandstand is on the outside of the track. The camera is facing the crowd, so the horses should race from left to right, but they're shown racing the other way. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[sounds from crowd, occasionally a word or phrase, indistinct and mostly not associated with a character]
Mrs. Eynsford-Hill: Don't just stand there, Freddy, go and find a cab.
Freddy Eynsford-Hill: All right, I'll get it, I'll get it.
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Crazy Credits

In the posters, playbills and the original cast album for the stage version of "My Fair Lady", the credits always read "based on Bernard Shaw's 'Pygmalion' ", letting the audience know what play "My Fair Lady" was actually adapted from. The movie credits simply read "from a play by Bernard Shaw". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Miss Congeniality (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm an Ordinary Man
(1956) (uncredited)
Music by Frederick Loewe
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Performed by Rex Harrison
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The character of Henry Higgins is greatly misunderstood by many and so is the film.
28 December 2003 | by (Tucson AZ) – See all my reviews

I have read in a great many places (including the IMDb) that Henry Higgins is a misogynist. It has also been said that the film is a misogynist's fairy tale. Anyone saying this has clearly not watched this film too closely.

First, Higgins is not a misogynist. A misogynist hates women. What Higgins is, in reality, is a misanthrope. A misanthrope basically dislikes and distrusts everyone! Watch the film and you'll notice that Higgins treats everyone with the same disregard-Col. Pickering, Eliza's father, his own mother-everyone receives his rather cynical disdain. Some of the minor characters come off being treated worse than the principals do. It's simply more noticeable with Eliza because it's more frequent, it's newer with Eliza because the other principal characters have known Higgins longer and thus take it in stride. The myth that Higgins is a misogynist is perpetuated by the song, "Why Can't A Woman Be More Like a Man?".

Second, it can hardly be called a misogynist's fairy tale. If that were the case, I doubt Alfred Doolittle would have cause to sing, "Get Me To the Church On Time", as he'd hardly be getting married. His life is just as "ruined" as Eliza's by his encounters with Higgins, just as altered as her life has been.

This is a great musical, a good movie and it was even better as the original play by Shaw. Well worth seeing. Recommended.


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